Latest Trip to Utah -- Part II: The Birthday Dinner

Last Monday night, Henry, Ruby, and I met Scott's parents, two sisters, and cousin at Olive Garden in SLC for a little birthday celebration. Henry's 3rd birthday is coming up this Saturday so we couldn't leave town without a little b-day dinner.

Let's just say it was one of those birthday celebrations that I will never forget.

First of all, Olive Garden is one of those places that gets me all warm and fuzzy inside. I just feel like every OG employee knows how to keep me happy: keep the Diet Cokes and breadsticks a-comin'. We started the meal off right by ordering a few appetizers and that's where things started getting a little funky. We cut up the food on the plate, passed it around, and when it got to me, I saw it -- a long black hair wrapped around one of the chicken fingers! Blech! Of course, they were so apologetic about it when we sent the food back. The "Service Manager" even came out to personally apologize. She asked if we'd like more appetizers or if we were just "too disgusted" to even try again. "Bring 'em back!" we cried. "Wait! The appetizers are on you? Well then add some calamari to the mix!"The rest of the meal proceeded without much ado besides our usual sarcastic banter with our servers (Scott's dad, Hal, is the only "sarcasseur" I know. Yes, I made that word up -- it's a combination of "sarcasm" and "connoisseur." If you need an example, please contact Hal Christensen on his mobile: 801-557-2188.)

So as dinner was coming to a close, Scott's sister, Kate, graciously offered to take Henry to the bathroom. After a few minutes, the OG employees were all being gathered and herded our way with a little cake for the birthday boy. Wait! Where is the birthday boy?!? They were going to sing to an empty highchair unless Kate finally returned with Henry. And don't you know, she arrived at exactly the right moment, with all the OG'ers standing around but something was terribly amiss. Could it be? Henry was not wearing any pants! Apparently, Kate, unaccustomed to the joy and surprises of helping little boys in the bathroom (little boys, who still SIT on the potty), wasn't quite expecting the shower she and his pants got.

So, our little Henry, totally unphased by the fact that he wasn't wearing any trousers, sat in his high chair and grinned from ear to ear as we all sang and he blew out his candles.

He loved his presents and especially loved the attention from the OG'ers and his family.

He ended the night off splendidly by smearing chocolate frosting all over his face as little children are "want" to do. Then he just sat there and alternated his facial expressions between deadly serious and total cheese-face.
It was just one of those experiences where once you start laughing, you can't stop. My face hurt afterwards.
Thanks again Christensens for the incredibly fun night. We love you guys!

Latest Trip to Utah -- Part I: I could have been home by now

I feel the need to attack this latest trip from the back end to the front end.

First of all, I made the entire 7+ hour drive home without Scott. I always think it'll be no big deal -- I'll probably even get to sing along with my fav iPod tunes but oh no, this trip wasn't pretty. Usually Henry's great about entertaining himself with a few cars but this time he wanted a new toy/book every 3.7 minutes. Then Ruby started drifting in and out of sleep, waking up screaming, all the way from Pocatello, Idaho to Idaho Falls (about 50 minutes). At one point I had my fingers in my ears, humming hymns, trying to drown out Ruby's wailing, Henry's incessant requests for another new toy, and my desire to get out of the car and walk home. And then I subconsciously started blaming Scott for moving us all the way from conveniently-located Idaho Falls up to "BFE" Bozeman. If we still lived in IF, I would have been home way before Ruby even deserved real resentment from me. I mean seriously, how pretty are those falls?

Anyway, then I got over it. Of course I like Bozeman and Scott didn't just "move us." I consented and supported the move from the get go. It's just an annoying tendency I have to sometimes blame Scott when things become frustrating or difficult. Oh the joys of being married to me.

Anyhoo, our FIFTH stop of the trip (there was a total of six, by the way) was in lovely Idaho Falls. We enjoyed the nice fall weather on the greenbelt while Ruby had a little lunch of sweet potatoes, Henry chased away all the resting ducks, and Tau embarrassingly enough, became a little too friendly with another uninterested dog. Yuck. And then I became that mother who unremorsefully changes her kids' diapers in public places. At that point, modesty and social politesse was the least of my concerns. Ruby HATED laying down on the grass so I struggled to change her while standing up with her curvacious, white buns mooning every car that drove by. Awesome. Then I tried to re-gain control of Henry's potty training that had gone awry on the long drive so I let him water a few weeds (at least it was in between our car doors, a little privacy involved). Typical to how well our trip was going, he thought it was awesome that he sprayed the car door. (Don't tell Scott. Oh hey babe!? You read our blog now?!?) And then he got his shorts wet. After an underwear change, I put him in his carseat with no shorts on. So for the next 45 minutes, he repeatedly asked, "Where my shorts?" "Mama, where Henny's pants?" "Hey, I need pants!" and so on.

Thankfully and FINALLY, both kids fell asleep until right before pulling into West Yellowstone where, THANKFULLY, we met up with Scott who was driving home from the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

So the ride home was a long one. Why do I keep doing this to myself?